Welcome Message from Ambassador Mohib
The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan welcomes all Afghans and Americans and will strive particularly to be a convenient doorway to Afghanistan for Americans. We welcome your support in our mission to create a self-reliant Afghanistan.
Under the leadership of President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah, Afghanistan has entered a new era of reform. Our goal is to become a full-fledged member of the community of democratic and prosperous nations. Close ties with the United States have been essential to our progress to date and a mutually beneficial building block for the future.
A large and impressive cadre of educated and informed youth will be the key to Afghanistan's renewal. Insecurity remains our greatest obstacle, but the country is armed with new skills, energy, and hope, especially among our youth. Help and partnerships extended by the United States will enable the rising generation of Afghan men and women to achieve their historic mission.
With gratitude and deep respect we pay homage to the great sacrifices Americans have made on our behalf and especially to the 2,363 troops who perished in the struggle. We thank the million servicemen and women, and the 30,000 American civilians and aid workers, who have helped us defend and build our country. We are inspired by the American troops who have trained Afghan soldiers and then fought side by side with them.
President Ghani has now laid out a plan to advance Afghanistan's self-reliance and reform. Its full implementation is one way we can express our gratitude to you for our partnership.
A bombardment of reports on conflict in our country easily obscures the great strides that have been made--and which continue to be made--in education, health, the rights and status of women, electoral processes, infrastructure, communications, and economic development.
On any given day in our capital, Kabul, you can find 1.2 million boys and girls crowding the streets on their way to and from thousands of schools. You will meet thousands of women working side by side with male colleagues in these schools, and also in businesses, universities, hospitals and government. State-of-the-art hospitals provide comprehensive services, including advanced surgery. And you will note the thousands of ordinary Afghans who fill shops, amusement parks, restaurants, and museums. President Ghani, in his speech to Congress, perfectly captured the mood of Afghanistan's citizens: "Ordinary has escaped us, but it is what we desperately want."
We do not minimize the challenges before us, but you should not minimize Afghanistan's commitment to address them. Real but unheralded gains are being made in electoral reform, the struggle against corruption, and fiscal sustainability through investment and regional trade. We are committed to further expanding women's participation in the society and to removing threats of violence and discrimination directed against them. Americans know from their own history that none of these battles will be easily or quickly won. But like you, Afghans believe that their commitment and tenacity will win the day against discrimination, oppression, and terrorism.
Like Americans, Afghans possess a strong work ethic, support the family as a basic building block of a healthy society, strive for education, and are guided by faith. Afghans also know that their country was once an economic giant, with great cities and world-renowned thinkers and scientists. They look to their continuing partnership with the United States as they work to rebuild these assets.
As ambassador, I look forward to deepening the links between our countries and to building and cementing relationships in many fields from which we will all benefit.
Hamdullah Mohib (PhD)
Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
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Afghanistan and United States of America share a common destiny in fighting terror and tyranny and a deep rooted history of friendship and partnership. The first contact between Afghanistan and the United States of America occured in the 1830's when a Pennsylvania adventurer, Josiah Harlan, traveled throughout the region, meeting Afghan both Shuja Shah and Dost Mahommed Khan. Shortly after Afghanistan regained her independence from Britain in 1919, King Amanullah, the reformist monarch of Afghanistan, dispatched General Wali Khan as the first Afghan envoy to Washington.
Full diplomatic relations between the Afghanistan and the United States began in 1934. Shortly after the end of World War II, His Majesty King Zahir Shah dispatched Abdul Hussein Aziz as the first Afghan Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Aziz leased a historic building from an outgoing Supreme Court Chief Justice (The building was later purchased by Ambassador Abdullah Malikyar). That building continues to house the Embassy more than half a century later. President Roosevelt appointed William Hornibrook as the first U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, on November 14, 1935.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower made history when he became the first U.S. President to visit Afghanistan on December 9, 1959. It is reported that seeing Afghanistan had long been a dream of President Eisenhower. Reflecting on his trip, President Eisenhower noted that he found the Afghan people to be "the most determined lot I have ever encountered." The first U.S. visit by an Afghan Head of State took place in September 1963, when His Majesty King Zahir Shah on the invitation of President John F. Kennedy. Throughout the successive decades, the U.S.-Afghanistan partnership continued to grow, including the contribution of a dedicated group of Peace Corps volunteers between 1962 and 1979.
Sadly, the Embassy was not immune from the conflict that raged over the ocean within Afghanistan. After the Taliban seized control of Kabul, representatives from competing factions feuded over control of the Embassy building. Although the Taliban was not recognized by the United States, their representative in Washington occupied the Embassy building until the summer of 1997, whereupon the State Department officially closed the Embassy.
In January 2002, after the establishment of the Interim Afghan Administration, bilateral relations were restored between Afghanistan and the United States. In an emotional ceremony, the Afghan flag was once again raised outside the Embassy in the presence of then Chairman Hamid Karzai and U.S. officials. The Embassy building, which had been neglected and lay in disrepair, was renovated and reopened in June of 2002.
The Embassy is under the leadership of Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib. Ambassador Mohib is also non-resident envoy to: Argentina, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Mexico.